Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Nutrition Journey- a story of change

In August 2012, 18-month-old, malnourished Priya was identified as a case of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), defined as low weight for height, visible severe wasting, and swollen feet resulting from tissue retention of water.  SAM is the most extreme form of hunger that leads to 35% of preventable deaths among children under five.

photo credit: Suchit Nanda
Inadequate complementary feeding seemed to be the main cause of Priya’s poor nutrition status. Through street plays and mothers’ meetings (topics: nutrition and growth monitoring), Priya’s mother, Kamlesh, now knew what she didn’t know earlier and started to feed Priya adequate amounts of food at regular intervals. Furthermore, Priya was also enrolled in a community based crèche where she received supplementary nutrition and inculcated the habit of eating with her companions. Over a period of three months, Priya’s nutritional status improved from malnutrition grade II to I and after six months she graduated to the normal grade category.

Volunteer Speak: a perspective

The past few weeks at Mobile Creches have been an experience I’ll never forget. I can’t thank the employees enough for all of the help and kindness they've shown me. It’s clear that everyone who works here truly loves what they are doing and want to see positive changes for the children who come to the crèches. 

And then there are the children, always excited to see you and say hello when you walk into the crèche. These past few weeks have been filled with laughter and smiles and I’d like to thank one last time all of the employees and
children who made that possible.

These words are written by Zachary R. Leja, currently studying in University of Rochester, USA. He volunteered his time for Mobile Creches for a few months in the latter part of the year 2013.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The same old story … with a happy ending

Photo credit: Suchit Nanda

At the Vipul World construction site centre, MC staff came across 6-month-old Satish, who was lying on the mud floor while his labourer mother, Sushila worked in the sun. They struck up a conversation with Sushila, recently migrated from Rajpura village, Bihar, about her child’s wellbeing. She was skeptical at the idea of a crèche and said, “Didi bachcha chhota hai, usay doodh pilaana hota hai, thekedaar baar-baar aane nahi dega. Isliye main apne saath rakhthi hoon” (How would I feed my little baby? The contractor won’t allow me a break to nurse my baby. It’s better to keep him with me).

Mobile Creches’ staff got Sushila permission from the contractor for frequent nursing breaks and encouraged her to visit the centre, for her own assurance. Sushila was surprised to see several small children of her son’s age being taken care of in one place: eating, sleeping, playing, under a watchful eye and with loving care.

Sushila now leaves Satish at the centre, everyday and comes to feed him at regular intervals. She works, with her mind at ease.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Is poverty just bad luck? : Majima's Story

6-year old Majima Khatoon, one of the 9220 children we reached in the quarter July - Sep '13, says, “Mere log, mera gulab, sab gaon mein chhoot gaye. Yahaan  chhupa-chhupi khelne dost bhi nahee hain”. (My relatives and my rose plant are in my village. I don’t even have my friends to play hide-n-seek with, here!).

India has a rich tradition of caring for children through the extended family, but when Majima’s parents migrated, that network got lost. 

Majima is one of the 60 million children in India, living in poverty and in dire need of care, especially so if you are a migrant child, moving across rural and urban landscapes in India, and coping with neglect, harsh living conditions and little access to playgrounds, schools and healthcare.
 Majima is lucky, as the site on which her parents work has a Mobile Creches’ centre to take care of her. She’s learning reading and math to get into formal school.

But poverty is not just bad luck. And the opportunity to learn, play and eat should not just be a matter of chance. How do we ensure the right to protection and development for every child?

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Purnima’s story

16-month-old Purnima came to the Ansal API construction site centre, in Gurgaon, as a malnourished child (Grade 2 Malnutrition Status). She was extremely weak and couldn’t participate much in the centre’s activities. The doctor recommended a special diet, regular body massage and multi-vitamin supplements. MC staff further counseled her mother to give extra attention and take care of her health and hygiene. Purnima’s attendance remained regular and slowly her weight and nutritional status improved to Grade 1.
A cheerful Purnima now interacts with other children: she climbs, swings & plays with blocks. At meal times, she is the 1st one in the line!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Perseverance against Malnutrition: Sakshi's Story

Sakshi is one of the 14,500 children we reach out to, every year. Her mother, Radha sighs with relief,“Sakshi ki bahut chinta rahti thi, par ab nahi” (I use to be very worried about Sakshi, but not anymore).

6 months ago, 19-month old Sakshi living in the Khanpur slums, Delhi, weighed 7 kgs, only.
Unaware about compulsory breastfeeding for the first 6 months, Radha supplemented her breast milk with bottle-feed well before the half year mark and, failed to replace the bottle with soft frequent feeds of solids.

With guidance and support from Mobile Creches, Sakshi weighs a healthy 11 kgs today.

Sakshi’s family watched street plays and Radha attended parent meetings on goodnutritional practices. Plus the Mobile Creches team visited her every week to build her confidence and monitor Sakshi’s progress every month. Perseverance won against malnutrition.

Indian has 200 million malnourished children. Do not each of these  children deserve a chance to a better life, like Sakshi?

children at a construction site centre

children at a construction site centre